Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Two Future Prospects Selected to Join China's MLB Development Academy

Got some more exciting news for you all! Two students from Shenzhen OCT primary school have been selected to join China's MLB development academy.

(Photo Credit: OCTPS)

One of them is Xie Han Zhang 谢瀚樟, a left handed pitcher who just graduated recently and the other one is Ding Ruo Fei 丁若非, who is currently in sixth grade. As you can see, they are both pretty tall (180 cm) for their age. Can you imagine facing Randy Johnson when you just turned twelve? Unfortunately, not a lot of other information about them, but the potential is definitely there. We'll just have to wait a couple of years and see how they turn out. Good luck 加油!

Sources: Both in Chinese

Here's a bonus link about a little league team from Beijing. It's about a coach's passion and how the players train with limited resource. The pictures are very touching, try not to cry...

I also want to thank Mr. Philip Wang for helping me find this information. We are both very optimistic and passionate about baseball in China. From here on out, he will be assisting me with translations and possibly interviews with players from China. I welcome him to the cause! 

New Year, Great Start! I hope the train doesn't stop here! Thanks for reading and have a great night!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Two Chinese Players in Australian Baseball League: Liwi Huang and Aaron Cheng

I'm probably a little late on this one, but I find this rather significant. Two players from the China MLB development academy have been playing for the Canberra Calvary of the Australian Baseball League. Here's a little info about them!

Liwi Haung - 黃立威
DOB: December, 7 1996 (18 years old)
Bat/Throws: Right handed
Height: 170 cm (5'7") Weight: 80kg (176 lbs)
Position: Shortstop

Here is the picture of the kid from an ABL blog, and here's his own Weibo account. In 3 games, Liwi went 0-1 with one RBI with 4 walks. Luckily, someone uploaded a YouTube clip of him drawing a walk from Korean pitcher Dae Sung Koo. There's only one game left in the season, so I hope Canberra gives him another chance to get his first official hit!

Aaron Cheng - 陈燕鹏
DOB: March 26, 1996 (18 years old)
Bat/Throws: Right handed
Height: 173 cm (5'8") Weight: 84kg (185 lbs)
Position: Outfielder

In 4 games, Aaron went 0-3 with no other statistics. He hasn't played a game since 1/18, but was never put in the starting line-up. I feel it's counter-productive not giving them more opportunities. The Calvary aren't going to the playoffs anyway! I guess some plate appearances are better than none.

Once again, I do not have access to any scouting reports. It would be nice to tell you a little bit more about them, but I'm pretty content that Chinese players are in the ABL. It's a big step forward getting them more exposure outside of China. I hope more players join next year, and would also like to see them too in the Arizona Fall League (If MLB cares!). It's mind-boggling that there isn't any Chinese media about the two players. If anyone knows more info, please let me know! Best of luck to these two kids, they will have a bright future! Thank you and have a great day!

"Great things come from small beginnings" - David from Prometheus

UPDATE 1/25/14:
Say it ain't so. Aaron Cheng started in leftfield on the last game of the ABL season. He went 1-3 with a single and a strikeout. Congratulations to Aaron on getting his first professional hit! Liwi Huang also came in the game as a pinch hitter but he struck out in his only at-bat. Well that's it, we have to wait until spring time to see some more action.

And finally, an article about them that popped up today! Both of them are from Shenzhen 深圳. Aaron was originally a pitcher, but switched to the outfield. It also says that there are currently more than 80 players in the academy. More news to come! Ciao!

Chengdu Skyforce Baseball Club! 成都天空棒球队

It's been a while hasn't it? Not a lot of news upfront about CBL or China baseball in general, but a lot of buzz going around lately about the Premier 12 tournament. China isn't even in the top 12 in WBSC rankings, but I'll still cover it.

Anyway, let me introduce to you one of the hottest amateur teams in Chengdu. Meet the Chengdu Skyforce Baseball Club 成都天空棒球队!

(Really neat jerseys!)
The club was established in March 2013, made for the community and the students in Chengdu. According to their page, the team plays a really high professional level of baseball. Well..no team would admit that they suck right? They play two tournaments every month and train at the Chengdu Sports Academy. If you're there and interested in joining them, they have a 100 RMB fee per year basically to cover for the venue (which is about 15 USD). Not bad! Besides having awesome jerseys, they also go to CBL games as a group to show their support. I wish nothing but luck to these bunch of enthusiastic fans! 加油!

What else is there to do in Chengdu? Pandas! The city is famous for pandas, so you can enjoy watching them sleep or eat bamboos (too cute). If you're a guy and you don't like pandas, Chengdu is ranked one of the top cities in China with the most beauties. Just make sure to control your nose bleeds!

It's still early in the year, so I wouldn't expect much baseball announcements from China. Just a couple of more months until baseball season! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Happy New Years! Some Minor Update...

Hello everybody! It's been a while, but I'm finally back from Taiwan. First off, I would like to say Happy New Years! Hope everybody will have a great and prosperous 2015.

Also, I would like to announce that I am one of the newest members of the Baseball Blogger Alliance (yep, that's me!). Thank you Mr. Niko Goutakolis for seeing what this blog is all about. Well...at least I hope so...

Anyway, I didn't get to a chance to visit the Taiwan Baseball Hero Exhibit, but I did pass by the Taipei Dome.
(Not the best picture)
The stadium is set to be completed in 2016 and will hold a capacity of 40,000 seats. I'm not really a big fan of domed stadiums, but reasonable because of the unstable weather in Taiwan.

As for baseball news in China, it's been really slow. There are actually others that blog about baseball in China, but not in English. It's actually pretty good and more in-depth compare to what I have to offer. I'm working on it! Here are a few links:

https://twitter.com/CHNbangqiu - Japanese author, has videos of team training and such.
https://twitter.com/Chinesebaseball - Korean author, has a pretty good update of stats from CBL.

Both of them have websites on their twitter account. I hope I can learn more from them, but language is a major barrier. I guarantee that it will be a great year in baseball for China!

Sorry for the short entry, but a lot more news to come! Thanks for reading and have a great day!